No. of Recommendations: 5
What is the $10k limit of which you speak?

Annual gift tax exclusion per person has been $11,000 in 2002-2005, $12,000 in 2006-2008, and $13,000 on or after January 1, 2009.

I'm probably just repeating PSU's point, but many states allow for a state tax DEDUCTION for contributions to their state's 529 plan (often totally unrelated to the Federal Gift Tax Annual Exclusion issue). Many states cap this at various levels. In Illinois, the maximum deduction allowed is 10K (20K if MFJ). At the current IL tax rate of 5%, that's $500 (or $1,000) in state income tax savings.

As a random aside for other peeps who might be reading this thread, I'll note that if you make an ESA contribution for a child that is also considered a gift, so if one were to contribute 2K to an ESA they could only contribute 11K to a 529 before hitting the annual exclusion limit (ignoring any potential "gift-splitting" issues with a spouse and/or the 5 year acceleration for lump sum gifts specific to 529s).

As for the main point of this thread...I don't know if I'd say there's a specific asset LEVEL at which I'd consider professional management (there probably is, somewhere) but rather that it comes down to personal preference in spending time managing assets personally vs. just not having to deal with it. In the latter case, I'd focus on A) the cost to have someone manage the assets, and 2) the level of comfort I would have with the person/entity doing the managing. Just like mowing my own lawn or doing my own cooking or whatnot. I may be perfectly capable of cooking quite well, but there may be a point in my life where going out to restaurants more often is appealing for various reasons, but I don't want to spend $100/meal and don't need that level of meals, even if I could "afford" it.

That last paragraph is, again, more of a general comment. Rad has demonstrated that she is more than capable of handling her own finances if she chooses to (hell, she'd do a better job with my finances than I do, most likely). If it were someone else I might try to offer advice on choosing a financial professional that is well qualified and a good fit for her personally, but I'm sure her ability to do so is at least as good and more likely better than my own. Plus, she's indicated that she has identified a likely candidate whose costs appear reasonable that she has an initial positive rapport with.

There's often a point at which the convenience of having somebody do something for you (at a certain cost) is more attractive than doing it yourself. Even top chefs eat out on occasion, heck sometimes they even go thru the Wendy's drive thru.

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